Update (7/9/13): Agence France-Presse reported that, according to a “top lawmaker,” Edward Snowden has agreed to asylum in Venezuela. According to the Associated Press, the source is the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, who made the statement on his Twitter account. The Tweet has since been deleted.
Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have offered asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is marooned in the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow while trying to avoid extradition to the United States, where he faces indictment under the Espionage Act. (Read more…) But if Snowden wants to go to one of those countries, will he be able to get there?
Cuba is the only country in which a commercial plane carrying Snowden could safely land without him facing the threat of US extradition—and en route he would have to pass through airspace belonging to the United States or one of its allies, whereby the US government could force his plane to land based on extradition treaties. There is a route that Snowden could take to avoid crossing the airspace of Canada, Norway, and the state of Florida, but he would need to charter a very expensive private plane to do so.
“A private plane certainly looks like the best bet to me,” says former CIA analyst Allen Thomson. “It has the advantage of simplicity and minimum involvement by the Russian government.” As Thomson told Foreign Policy, in order for Snowden to avoid US-influenced airspace, he would have to fly “North to the Barents Sea, thence over to and through the Denmark Strait. Continue south, steering clear of Newfoundland until getting to the east of the Windward Islands, then fly through some convenient gap between islands.”
[VIA MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones]